Some Facts You Should Know About The Love Of Music
Johann Sebastian Bach had a street brawl with a student
whose bassoon he’d insulted and who was therefore trying
to brain him with a stick. Tchaikovsky and Saint Saëns liked
impersonating ballerinas together. Bach was carrying a knife.
Tchaikovsky was almost certainly gay, and Saint Saëns, too.
The student’s clothing was shredded before his friends
pulled Bach off him. Tchaikovsky’s wife would never have
comprehended the words describing homosexuality. A 20th
century composer of organ music named Richard Purvis
wrote an arrangement of “Greensleeves” in a fox hole, under
live fire, during World War II. Saint Saëns eventually left
his wife. Tchaikovsky did, too. Richard Purvis led the first
military band through liberated Paris after his rescue from
a German POW camp. His “Greensleeves” sounds like the
whole world’s broken heart, trying to bear up. A grave robber
dug up Haydn’s skull. It was replaced with someone else’s
but later found. Now there are two. The judge let Bach’s
student go and cautioned Bach to be more likable. Music
is the last thing to leave anyone with dementia. Bach and
Handel were blinded by the same inept surgeon. My own
mother, before her diagnosis of terminal kidney disease, sat
in her doctor’s office, singing “Flat Foot Floozy,” out loud.
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Christine-Potter/e/B001K7URHS/
Editor’s Note: This poem opens with a deceptively simple list of facts about musicians, but soon the repetition begins to press inward, and suddenly the “whole world’s broken heart” appears mid-poem, with such startling clarity, that the emotional refrain echoes long after the last line.